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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sabahan hostage freed, five days after Semporna abduction

KOTA KINABALU - A Malaysian man, abducted off Semporna waters by gunmen on Sept 27, has been freed.

Sabah police confirmed that Ruslan Nasir Sarapin, 39, arrived in Lahad Datu at 7am today.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said they are still getting details on the event.

"It is learnt that Ruslan is now with the police at the Lahad Datu police headquarters.

"It is unclear as to how he was rescued but we will record his statement to facilitate investigation," he said when met at the Istana Negeri here.

Ruslan was the owner of a fishing boat stormed by gunmen about 9.30pm on Thursday.

Ruslan, from Lahad Datu, was the only one who held a Malaysian identity card from the 27 people onboard the fishing vessel.

The abduction was the latest recorded incident in Sabah waters, which has seen a staggering rise in the number of abductions and sea robberies.

On Sept 11, three Filipino fishermen were captured by gunmen who stormed a fishing vessel that was docked between Pulau Bodgaya and Pulau Boheydulang off Semporna.

The incident came two months after five Malaysians were abducted in Lahad Datu waters.

They were captured by Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group members and were taken to the southern Philippines.

The authorities have since raised the possibility that the criminals may have been privy to inside information on Malaysian security operations.

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